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West Windsor, New Jersey
Township of West Windsor
War of the Worlds monument, Grover's Mill
War of the Worlds monument, Grover's Mill
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of West Windsor Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of West Windsor Township, New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey
Location in Mercer County, New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey is located in the United States
West Windsor, New Jersey
West Windsor, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Mercer
Incorporated February 21, 1798
 • Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council
 • Body Township Council
 • Total 26.25 sq mi (68.00 km2)
 • Land 25.55 sq mi (66.17 km2)
 • Water 0.71 sq mi (1.83 km2)  2.69%
Area rank 101st of 565 in state
3rd of 12 in county
92 ft (28 m)
 • Total 27,165
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 87th of 565 in state
6th of 12 in county
 • Density 1,062.6/sq mi (410.3/km2)
 • Density rank 373th of 565 in state
10th of 12 in county
Time zone UTC– 05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC– 04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 3402180240
GNIS feature ID 0882124

West Windsor is a township in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. Located within the Raritan Valley region, the township is an outer-ring suburb of New York City in the New York metropolitan area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 27,165, reflecting an increase of 5,258 (+24.0%) from the 21,907 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,886 (+36.7%) from the 16,021 counted in the 1990 Census.

West Windsor and adjacent East Windsor were established by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 9, 1797, and incorporated on February 21, 1798, as two of the state's initial group of 104 townships, by partitioning provincial Windsor Township.

The Borough of Princeton (now part of Princeton) was formed from a portion of the township on February 11, 1813. The township is closely associated with that now much more widely known town and several localities within West Windsor use Princeton in their name, the most notable of those being Princeton Junction. The USPS 'Princeton' post office (08540) facility is located within West Windsor, and covers parts of the township designated by Princeton, NJ mailing addresses.

A portion of Princeton University, covering 400 acres (160 ha) south of Lake Carnegie, is located in West Windsor. The university agreed in 2009 to make an annual payment in lieu of taxes of $50,000 that would be indexed to inflation to cover 81 acres (33 ha) of land in the township that the university had purchased in 2002.

West Windsor is frequently ranked among the highest-income municipalities in New Jersey. In 2008, Forbes listed West Windsor as the 15th most affluent neighborhood in the U.S. Using 2012–2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, listed the township as the 9th highest-income in the state in its January 2018 article "The 19 wealthiest towns in New Jersey, ranked." Based on data from the American Community Survey for 2013–2017, West Windsor residents had a median household income of $175,684, ranked 4th in the state among municipalities with more than 10,000 residents, more than double the statewide median of $76,475.


Schenck Farmstead Farmhouse
The c. 1790 Schenck Farmstead, at 50 Southfield Road, Functions as the West Windsor History Museum and the headquarters of the Historical Society of West Windsor.

Prior to individual European land acquisition and settlement around the turn of the 18th century, the primary residents of West Windsor were the Lenape Native Americans. The Assanhicans (Assunpinks) were the subtribe that inhabited the greater Trenton area; artifacts from their society are still found in West Windsor.

The first known European activity in the area now known as West Windsor dates to 1634, during the exploration of Captain Thomas Yong. Yong was an Englishman, who reportedly traded with the native Lenape people. The region was officially claimed for European settlement under the 1682 William Penn treaties, under which the Lenape conveyed vast portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Quaker colonists.

The West Windsor area was within Piscataway Township when it was chartered on December 18, 1666. This changed upon the formation of Middlesex County in 1683.

New Windsor Township (West Windsor's predecessor), known later as Windsor Township, was unofficially formed in 1731, and officially created by Royal Charter on March 9, 1751, from a partition of Piscataway Township. Its borders encompassed today's West Windsor Township, all of present-day Princeton up to Nassau Street, and pre-partition East Windsor Township. In 1756, The College of New Jersey relocated to Nassau Hall in the village of Princeton. When West Windsor and East Windsor were created from the division of Windsor Township on February 9, 1797, West Windsor's boundaries extended up to Nassau Street. Following the 1838 formation of Mercer County and further land acquisitions by Princeton in 1843 and 1853, West Windsor's borders were again redefined to reflect the township's current 26.84 square miles (69.5 km2).

Historically, West Windsor relied heavily upon agriculture. Common products were wheat, tomatoes, rye, and potatoes. This identity dominated the township from its first settlement until the last half of the 20th century, and was really only extinguished upon the township's most rapid period of growth from the late 1970s-the 2000s.

However, this agrarian dominance incentivized the institution of slavery as well. Although records are sparse, township censuses indicate 190 slaves in Windsor Township in 1790. In West Windsor, there were 21 slaves in 1830 and 3 in 1840. Additionally, several late 1700s wills and 1800s "abandonments" show the presence of slavery in the township around the turn of the 19th century.

West Windsor never developed a centralized "downtown." Instead, The township contained within it (entirely or partly) several small hamlets whose names and locations are still identifiable and/or in use in contemporary times. They are as follows:

  • Aqueduct (Mills) – centered at Mapleton Ave, Lower Harrison Street, and the Millstone River. Partly located in Plainsboro.
  • Canal/Princeton Basin – at the intersection of Alexander Road and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. Partially located in Princeton.
  • Clarksville – at the intersection of Route 1 and Quakerbridge Road.
  • Dutch Neck – at the intersection of Village Roads East/West and South Mill Road.
  • Edinburg – at the intersection of Old Trenton and Edinburg Roads.
  • Jugtown/Queenston - at the intersection of Nassau and Harrison Streets. Now fully located in Princeton.
  • Grovers Mill – at the intersection of Cranbury and Clarksville Roads.
  • Penns Neck – Centered at the intersection of Washington Road and Route 1.
  • Port Windsor/Mercer – at the end of Quakerbridge Road at the Delaware Canal. Partially located in Lawrence.
  • Princeton Junction – Initially centered at the Princeton Junction Train Station. Manifested after the mid-1860s relocation of the Camden & Amboy Railroad line (now the Northeast Corridor) and opening of the current station.

Grover's Mill in West Windsor was the site Orson Welles chose for the Martian invasion in his infamous 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds.

During the later part of the 20th century the township underwent dramatic changes, driven mainly by a major boom in new housing developments. For generations, West Windsor had existed mostly as a sparsely populated agricultural community according to a 1999 article in The New York Times, the township "has grown into a sprawl of expensive houses in carefully groomed developments, and home to nearly 20,000 people", since the 1970s.

The West Windsor post office was found to be infected with anthrax during the anthrax attacks in 2001–2002.

In April 2002, a memorial was dedicated to the seven residents of West Windsor who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

In October 2019, the Historical Society of West Windsor published an online museum exploring the history of West Windsor.


2013-05-04 12 53 55 View west along the Assunpink Creek in West Windsor Township in New Jersey
View west along the Assunpink Creek in West Windsor.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 26.25 square miles (68.00 km2), including 25.55 square miles (66.17 km2) of land and 0.71 square miles (1.83 km2) of water (2.69%).

Princeton Junction (with a 2010 Census population of 2,465) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place located within West Windsor. Other unincorporated communities in the township include Berrien City, Dutch Neck, Edinburg, Grover's Mill, Millstone, Penns Neck, Port Mercer, Post Corner, and Princeton Ivy East.

The township borders the municipalities of East Windsor, Hamilton Township, Lawrence Township, Princeton and Robbinsville Township in Mercer County; and Plainsboro Township in Middlesex County.

The Howard Hughes Corporation has proposed redevelopment of a 653-acre (264 ha) tract of land bounded by the Northeast Corridor train line, Route 1, and Quakerbridge Road, which includes land once owned by American Cyanamid and last used up until 2002 as an agricultural research facility by BASF; in of 2017 a plan was proposed to create mixed-use development that would include 2,000 residences along with 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of retail and commercial space on the site, which is currently zoned for commercial use. The local school district has developed a report identifying significant potential growth in the number of students enrolling from this and other residential development in both West Windsor and Plainsboro. In 2019, Atlantic Realty purchased the property, and in November 2020 they and the township reached an agreement to restrict the tract to non-residential use.

A panorama of the D&R Canal and the Millstone River
The Millstone River as it enters into the D&R Canal.


According to the Köppen climate classification system, West Windsor has a hot-summer, wet all year, humid continental climate (Dfa). Dfa climates are characterized by at least one month having an average mean temperature ≤ 32.0 °F (≤ 0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (≥ 10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature ≥ 71.6 °F (≥ 22.0 °C), and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. During the summer months, episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values ≥ 100 °F (≥ 38 °C). On average, the wettest month of the year is July which corresponds with the annual peak in thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 0 °F (< -18 °C). The plant hardiness zone at the West Windsor Municipal Court is 7a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 0.2 °F (-17.7 °C). The average seasonal (November–April) snowfall total is 24 to 30 inches (610 to 760 mm) and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.

Climate data for West Windsor Municipal Court, Mercer County, NJ (1991–2020 Averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 40.1
Daily mean °F (°C) 31.8
Average low °F (°C) 23.4
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.38
Average relative humidity (%) 65.6 62.1 57.9 57.8 62.8 66.8 67.0 69.5 70.7 69.5 67.3 67.3 65.4
Average dew point °F (°C) 21.0
Source: PRISM


According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, West Windsor would have an Appalachian Oak (104) vegetation type with an Eastern Hardwood Forest (25) vegetation form.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 1,714
1820 1,918 11.9%
1830 2,129 11.0%
1840 1,536 −27.9%
1850 1,596 3.9%
1860 1,497 −6.2%
1870 1,428 −4.6%
1880 1,396 −2.2%
1890 1,329 −4.8%
1900 1,279 −3.8%
1910 1,342 4.9%
1920 1,389 3.5%
1930 1,711 23.2%
1940 2,160 26.2%
1950 2,519 16.6%
1960 4,016 59.4%
1970 6,431 60.1%
1980 8,542 32.8%
1990 16,021 87.6%
2000 21,907 36.7%
2010 27,165 24.0%
2020 29,518 8.7%
Population sources:
1800–1920 1840 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010

AOL/NeighborhoodScout named West Windsor in 2009 as the best neighborhood to raise children because of its school district (top 7% in New Jersey, top 3% nationwide), prevailing family type (families with school-aged children), and neighborhood safety (safer than 97% of neighborhoods). As of January 2018 the township's population was the second most educated in the state of New Jersey, according to an analysis by The percent of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher was 81.7%, with 48% of residents holding advanced graduate or professional degrees.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 27,165 people, 9,449 households, and 7,606 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,062.6 per square mile (410.3/km2). There were 9,810 housing units at an average density of 383.7 per square mile (148.1/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 54.94% (14,924) White, 3.67% (998) Black or African American, 0.09% (25) Native American, 37.71% (10,245) Asian, 0.04% (10) Pacific Islander, 0.97% (263) from other races, and 2.58% (700) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.47% (1,213) of the population.

There were 9,449 households out of which 45.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.0% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.5% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the township, the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 29.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.6 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 91.4 males.

Dutch Neck NJ
Dutch Neck neighborhood

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $137,265 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,610) and the median family income was $156,110 (+/- $6,769). Males had a median income of $120,662 (+/- $6,410) versus $71,151 (+/- $9,841) for females. The per capita income for the township was $59,946 (+/- $3,307). About 3.6% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.


NRG Energy has its corporate headquarters in West Windsor.

Arts and culture

The West Windsor Arts Center is the junction where the arts and community meet. They offer performances, classes, workshops, exhibitions, literary arts events and various other special events. It is located in the historic Princeton Junction Firehouse.

The Mercer County Italian-American Festival, established in 2000 and held annually in West Windsor, celebrated its 20th annual event in September 2019.


Mercer County Television (MCTV) channel 26 is an Educational-access television station in West Windsor that is owned and operated by Mercer County Community College (MCCC). The student television station is transmitted to all of Mercer County, New Jersey, via cable TV channel 26 on Xfinity and Optimum, reaching an excess of 90,000 households. MCTV was added as Verizon FiOS channel 20 in Mercer County starting in 2009.

Parks and recreation

Richard J. Coffee Mercer County Park is located on Old Trenton Road. Administered by the Mercer County Park Commission and located primarily in West Windsor, it has athletic fields, a dog park, picnic grounds, a newly renovated boathouse and marina on Mercer Lake, bike trails and an ice skating rink that is home to the Mercer Bulldogs special hockey team.

The West Windsor Community Park is a 123-acre (50 ha) public park which serves as the primary park for active recreation. Facilities include a playground, jogging/bicycling paths, basketball courts, dog parks, a skate park and tennis courts. The park is also home to the West Windsor Waterworks Family Aquatics Center.

Duck Pond Park is a 120-acre (49 ha) park under construction located off Meadow Road between the intersections with Clarksville Road and Bear Brook Road, bordering Duck Pond Run. It is designed to be a "second community park" for the township. As of 2015, lighted soccer fields have been completed and in use by the West Windsor–Plainsboro Soccer Association, as well as tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. Future plans include a playground, picnic areas, an amphitheater, and a fishing pond.


Colleges and universities

West Windsor is the site of the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College.

Princeton University's satellite campus is located in West Windsor.



Dutch Neck Elementary School
Dutch Neck Elementary School in December 2018. Constructed in 1917 to replace the township's 1 and 2-room school houses, in use since the mid-1700s.

West Windsor and Plainsboro are part of a combined school district, the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District., which serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade from the two communities. The district has four elementary schools (grades PreK/K – 3), two upper elementary schools (grades 4 and 5), two middle schools (grades 6 – 8) and two high schools (grades 9 – 12). As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of 10 schools, had an enrollment of 9,812 students and 761.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.9:1. Schools in the district (with 2017–18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Dutch Neck Elementary School (located in West Windsor: 687 students; in grades K-3), Maurice Hawk Elementary School (West Windsor: 749; K-3), Town Center Elementary School (Plainsboro: 522; PreK-2), J.V.B. Wicoff Elementary School (Plainsboro: 449; K-3), Millstone River Upper Elementary School (Plainsboro: 1,088; 3–5 – Formerly West Windsor-Plainsboro Upper Elementary School (UES), before the Village School was built), Village Upper Elementary School (West Windsor: Preschool, 726; 4–5), West Windsor-Plainsboro Community Middle School (Plainsboro: 1,172; 6–8 – Formerly West Windsor-Plainsboro Middle School pre-1997, before Grover Middle School was created), Thomas R. Grover Middle School (West Windsor: 1,264; 6–8), West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (Plainsboro: 1,448; 9–12) and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (West Windsor: 1,601; 9–12 – Formerly West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, before High School North was established in 1997). The district is overseen by a directly elected nine-member board of education whose members are allocated to the two constituent municipalities based on population, with five of the nine seats allocated to West Windsor.

Three of the district's schools have been recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South was recognized during the 1992–93 school year and Maurice Hawk Elementary School was recognized in 1993–94, while West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North was recognized in the 2006–07 school year.

Eighth grade students from all of Mercer County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Mercer County Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at its Health Sciences Academy, STEM Academy and Academy of Culinary Arts, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.


The Wilberforce School, a K-12 Classical Christian school founded in 2005, moved to new facilities in the township in 2014.


Roads and highways

2021-07-16 11 08 35 View north along U.S. Route 1 (Trenton-New Brunswick Turnpike) from the overpass for Mercer County Route 533 (Quaker Bridge Road-Province Line Road) in West Windsor Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
U.S. Route 1 in West Windsor

As of 2010, the township had a total of 151.84 miles (244.36 km) of roadways, of which 123.43 miles (198.64 km) were maintained by the municipality, 24.16 miles (38.88 km) by Mercer County and 4.25 miles (6.84 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

U.S. Route 1 is the largest and busiest highway in West Windsor, crossing the northwestern sections of the township, oriented southwest to northeast. CR 533 (Quakerbridge Road) passes along the western border with Lawrence. CR 526 and CR 571 are multiplexed together from the northwestern part of the township until they split in the center of the municipality. CR 535 passes through in the south and serves Mercer County Community College. New Jersey Route 64 is a short, unsigned state highway that runs 0.32 miles (0.51 km) concurrent with CR 526/CR 571 where they cross the Northeast Corridor rail line.

Other major roads that are accessible outside the municipality are Interstate 295 (in Hamilton and Lawrence), Interstate 195 (in Hamilton and Robbinsville), and the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) (in Robbinsville (Exit 7A) and East Windsor (Exit 8)).

Public transportation

An Acela Express speeding through West Windsor.

Princeton Junction station, a Northeast Corridor stop on Amtrak and NJ Transit, is located within West Windsor. Amtrak's Keystone Service and Northeast Regional routes stop at Princeton Junction which is ranked as one of the ten busiest train stations in the Northeast. The station had 6,800 average weekday boardings in 2012, the fourth-highest of any NJ Transit station in the state.

Running between the Princeton Junction station and the Princeton station is what is known to locals as the "Dinky." The Dinky is a one-car train that shuttles back and forth many times a day between the two stations. Traveling 2.7 miles (4.3 km) each way, it is the shortest regularly scheduled passenger route in the United States.

NJ Transit bus service to Trenton is provided via the 600, 603, 609, with other area service on the 605 route.

The Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association offers service on Route 130 between the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College and East Windsor Township / Hightstown.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from West Windsor Township, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with West Windsor include:

  • Jack Aker (born 1940), former Major League Baseball pitcher.
  • Kevin Barry (born 1978), Atlanta Braves relief pitcher.
  • Aneesh Chopra (born 1972), first Chief Technology Officer of the United States.
  • Stanley Dancer (1927–2005), harness racing driver and trainer.
  • Eileen Filler-Corn (born 1964), member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2010 who was chosen in 2019 to become the first woman to serve as Speaker.
  • Douglas Forrester (born 1953), former mayor of West Windsor Township who was the Republican Party nominee for U.S. Senator in 2002 and for Governor of New Jersey in 2005.
  • Ethan Hawke (born 1970), actor.
  • Kris Kolluri (born c. 1969), former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
  • Matt Lalli (born 1986), professional lacrosse player for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse.
  • Paul Lansky (born 1944), composer.
  • Ben H. Love (1930–2010), the eighth Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America serving from 1985 to 1993.
  • Ramesses McGuiness (born 2000), footballer who plays for the US Virgin Islands national team.
  • Christopher McQuarrie (born 1968), screenwriter, director and producer who is a regular collaborator of director Bryan Singer, with whom he co-wrote the screenplay of Singer's Public Access, wrote the screenplay for The Usual Suspects, co-wrote and produced Valkyrie and co-wrote Jack the Giant Slayer and Edge of Tomorrow.
  • Glenn Michibata, (born 1962), retired professional tennis player who has been tennis coach of the Princeton Tigers.
  • James Murphy (born 1970), singer, songwriter, DJ, electronic musician (as LCD Soundsystem).
  • John Forbes Nash Jr. (1928–2015), Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who was the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind.
  • Taktin Oey (born c. 1986), composer.
  • Fernando Perez (born 1983), Tampa Bay Rays outfielder.
  • Steve Rogers (born 1949), former pitcher for the Montreal Expos baseball team.
  • Bryan Singer (born 1965), film and television director.
  • David Zhuang (born 1963), Olympic table tennis player.

See also

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